College of Nursing remembers Jill Thewke

Jill Thewke, an administrator in the UNMC College of Nursing, died Jan. 15. She was 58 years old.

An Albion, Nebraska, native, Thewke started working at the college in November 1991 as a staff secretary. She has served as staff assistant, administrative assistant, budget and accounting analyst and administrator.

Read more about Thewke.

“Jill was one of those amazingly talented people who could offer advice about problems or issues and articulate a solution in a finely crafted manner,” said colleague LaDonna Tworek. “She was always willing to participate in any skit or activity that we developed for retirement parties or other events, so she had a fantastic ‘fun’ side to her as well. I loved her wisdom and wit. Jill had a knack for being able to talk to just about anyone and then becoming fast friends . . . God bless dear Jill.”

Tworek called Thewke a bright star who will be truly missed.

“Jill was extraordinarily supportive of UNMC and the College of Nursing, loved her family and friends, and stayed strong and courageous managing her health challenge,” said Juliann Sebastian, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Nursing. “Events such as Jill’s passing remind us how important it is to express gratitude, show kindness, extend compassion, and all the many ways we show others that they are important to us.”

“Jill had already been working in the College of Nursing dean’s office for nearly 10 years when I started in 2000,” said Cara Mouw. “She was a lifelong learner who was very proud of her upbringing, her family and her heritage. Jill was a very generous and giving person who loved to entertain and socialize. She was a good friend who would do anything for you. Jill will be missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to work with her and by everyone who knew her.”

Thewke earned an associate’s degree from the Lincoln School of Commerce in 1982, and from the University of Nebraska at Omaha a bachelor’s degree in 2002 and a master’s degree in public administration in (2009).

Celebration of Life services will be held in Albion in the spring. Details will be provided at a later date.

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  1. Kate Fiandt says:

    I first knew JIll when I arrived at the College of Nurisng in 1993. She was was always a welcoming presence in the Dean's office and helpful and kind when I has questions about budget. After a time away I returned to the CON in 2014 and found she was just as great to work with as she had been before. I considered her a friend as well as colleague and will miss her.

  2. Barbara Hoover-Schultz says:

    Jill was not only a supportive mentor for me during my time in the College of Nursing but she was my dear friend. Her compassion and empathy towards others was clear from the day I met her in 2015. Jill was the "go to" person in the College and a great sounding board for anyone who needed a listening ear. She never complained during her health struggles and continued to be upbeat throughout, even though we all knew the difficulties she was facing. Her kindness and generosity will never be forgotten.

  3. Pat O'Neil says:

    I began my tenure with UNMC in Sponsored Programs Accounting. I met Jill sought Jill out early on because she was known to be an excellent grants manager and helped me to understand how things worked in the college units. From there she became a trusted resource and sounding board. I appreciated her direct approach and easy smile. She will be missed.

  4. Beth Beam says:

    Nobody in the College deserved the infamous tile from the CON as much as Jill. Hope we can give one to her family to show them what a key part of our mission she was. I know she had a tough road and hope her spirit is free to laugh and love now free from pain. Miss you Jill.

  5. Dana Samson says:

    This is a lovely tribute to a lovely woman.

  6. Terri Vadovski says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Jill was great to work. Sorry for the loss.

  7. Jana Pressler says:

    Jill will be greatly missed by all.

  8. Diana Schneider says:

    I only had the opportunity to work with Jill a short time (compared to others) when I transferred to the College of Nursing. She made me feel like family from day one. She always had a positive spin on everything. You would never know if she was having a hard day, she persevered through it all. She was a wealth of knowledge and kindness. I will truly miss her.

  9. Lola Beth Cash says:

    I hired Jill nearly 30 years ago and did not know she would become my best friend. She was my assistant and learned quickly and took on anything I handed her to do. She was every thing that people have already said about her…smart, kind, caring, etc. For me she was a very special and dear friend, who has took trips with me, shared her family with me, and became a part of my family. She has left a legacy of love and wonderful memories for all she knew.

    Lola (Martin) Cash, retired CON administrative director.

  10. Bobbi Hartshorn says:

    Jill was such a wonderful person – kind, caring, and accepting of everyone. Her positive attitude (through all things) was contagious! She always took time to answer questions and to share her quick sense of humor!

  11. Debra Bergman says:

    I appreciate the valuable mentoring Jill provided me in the CON. She initiated great conversation about work and life during our Administrator Group meetings during the challenging past year due to COVID. Jill was a beautiful person and a rare 'jewel'.

  12. Amy Jude Hoffman says:

    I waited a few days to write about Jill, I will miss her greatly. I met Jill while I was onboarding in the college in 2018. One of my priority responsibilities was to hire to fill 27 positions in ~ 1 year, so I got to know Jill real well. Jill was so full of life, wisdom, caring, and kindness. She was full of knowledge and energy, and always ready to share and listen, and listen and share. She was selfless–she lived to make every day a better day for others. God blessed me by sending me Jill!

    “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
    ― Albert Einstein

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